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Interviews (Massively's)

Exclusive: Champions Online challenges players to take on the Forum Malvanum

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Champions Online

Wait, how will you get wheel spikes on this?
Champions Online players have just braved a full-scale invasion in the appropriately named Lemurian Invasion event. So now the superheroes of Millennium City get to take a long weekend and possibly head to the beach, right? Hardly. A new challenge approaches in the form of the upcoming Forum Malvanum event, throwing heroes into a pitched arena battle run by a mysterious alien race. But it's not quite what you might think.

The aliens behind these gladiatorial games have been running challenges across the galaxy for quite some time, and they've now invited Earth's champions to participate. Should the heroes emerge victorious, they'll reap the rewards of galaxy-spanning wealth and power. Not that you can expect the games of an intergalactic race obsessed with bloodsports to be particularly fair...

Leaving aside the perpetual nightmare that is a superhero's life, this even promises to offer several additions for players. Aside from the almost mandatory new lockbox, the event will contain new content including an arena showdown and a mission focused around a high-speed race. We also had a chance to sit down and ask producer Tom Edwards a few more questions about the upcoming event. Read on!

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ZeniMax's Paul Sage on The Elder Scrolls Online's endgame, PvP, and crafting

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Professions, PvP, PvE, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Dungeons, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Interview With ZeniMax's Paul Sage
During my hands-on play session with The Elder Scrolls Online at the media event last week, I got a glimpse of the early game experience, and it was delicious. But most MMOs are judged on what awaits players at the max-level endgame, so I sat down with ZeniMax Online Studios creative director Paul Sage to ask about those areas of the game that I didn't get to see.

Specifically, I asked Sage to describe ZeniMax's strategy for keeping players occupied once they hit the level cap at 50. His reply included four main activities: questing in enemy alliance zones, four-player dungeons, adventure zones, and the PvP alliance war in Cyrodiil. Read on for all of the details I gleaned from the interview!

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The Tattered Notebook: EQII's Ribbitribbit Day celebrates community

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Culture, Events (In-Game), Opinion, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), The Tattered Notebook, Housing

The Tattered Notebook EQII's Ribbitribbit Day celebrates community, creates memorial to remember others
There is no two ways about it: Every time I started to pen this particular piece, I had to pause. You see, the story behind it all is steeped in emotion; inspiration, joy, pride, sadness, and togetherness are all a part of the heartwarming tale that is simply impossible to not be touched by (or in my case, completely choked up). And it's one that makes me proud to be a part of the EverQuest II community.

Last year we shared with you the story of a young boy whose simple wish for a fun place to play in EQII brought the community together in an unparalleled way. In order to make an extra special place for Ribbitribbit, adventurers, raiders, and crafters left their guilds -- heck, even their servers -- to come aid in what became more than a simple island refuge. It became a multi-house playground that included a Tier 3 guild hall. The sheer volume of enthusiastic participation is enough to make any heart swell. Sadly, shortly thereafter Ribbitribbit lost his battle with cancer, and that same community mourned his passing. Now, one year later, the same organizer who uncorked that first outpouring of generosity has brought players together again to commemorate community, continue philanthropy, and remember those who have been lost.

Today's Tattered Notebook invites you to become a part of this community with a look at Ribbitribbit Day 2013.

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A door to the Marvel world: David Brevik talks Marvel Heroes

Betas, Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, MMO Industry, Previews, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage)

Massively Interview David Brevik talks Marvel Heroes
Marvel Heroes is an upcoming action RPG that allows players to sling web justice as Spider-Man or just throw a stress-relieving tantrum as the Hulk. Whatever your favorite alter-ego, the upcoming free-to-play game hopes to be a refreshing addition to the isometric genre.

At a recent press event in San Francisco, I sat down with David Brevik, President and CEO of Gazillion Entertainment, to scope out the influence of Diablo vs. the Marvel Universe and whether we'll see the PvP fans are hoping for.

Gallery: Marvel Heroes

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Hands-on with Marvel Heroes' combat, events, and crafting

Super-hero, Economy, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Marvel Heroes, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Crafting

Handson with Marvel Heroes
This has been a hard year on mice. Diablo III, Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, and now another click-fest is in the works: Marvel Heroes. This new free-to-play addition to the isometric family will put you in the shoes of classic heroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Storm, Wolverine, and many more from the Marvel roster. Just when my index finger was starting to forgive me!

To better understand how much danger my mouse and finger were in, I traveled down to Gazillion Entertainment for some hands-on time with a few of my favorite comic wonders. Is Marvel Heroes is bringing more than just tights to the table?

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Music on the frontier: An interview with WildStar composer Jeff Kurtenacker

Sci-Fi, Culture, Interviews, Interviews (Massively's), WildStar, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Music on the frontier A talk with WildStar's Jeff Kurtenacker
A great soundtrack has the ability to raise the mundane to memorable and the wonderful to epic. It's hard to imagine films like Star Wars or Back to the Future without their iconic scores or video games like Super Mario Bros. and Final Fantasy without their catchy tunes. So I'm always keen to hear the soundtracks of up-and-coming MMOs because they give me an indication of how much care is being given to the overall quality of the project.

I'm doubly excited for WildStar's score because it's being composed by Jeff Kurtenacker. Kurtenacker produced one of my all-time favorite MMO soundtracks, Pirates of the Burning Sea, which is a playful, exuberant romp through the nautical soundscape. And so far from what we've heard of WildStar's score, we can expect much of the same when we make planetfall on Nexus.

On one drizzly afternoon in a country that you've never heard of, Kurtenacker met with us in a small pub to talk about the joys of creating the music that will soon be infecting the brains of thousands (millions?) of gamers worldwide. Read on, space-man or space-woman, and be astounded!

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Hands-on with the pre-launch Defiance demo

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance

Handson with the prelaunch Defiance demo
Defiance: It's a game, it's an MMO, it's an FPS, it's a TV show! Before attending this past week's Defiance pre-launch event in San Francisco, I was aware of only one place on earth where all of those elements have seemingly been mashed-up before in quite this order: South Korea. And even there, the TV portion was more in a standard game show format. It's a risky combination in the West.

Thus it was with trepidation and a hefty dose of skepticism that I attended the TV show pilot's screening, which itself was followed by some intense cooperative PvP gaming on the mainstream platform of my choice. The folks at Trion Worlds set up an impressive demo area, with PS3 and XBox systems trailing behind the PC platforms.

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Funcom's Joel Bylos on the centralized TSW, AoC, and AO team

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, The Secret World, Interviews (Massively's), Sandbox

Massively Exclusive  Bylos expounds on the centralized team for AO, AoC, and TSW
By now, most MMO gamers are pretty familiar with the fact that Funcom underwent restructuring. But what does that mean; what exactly did it entail? The term "restructuring" in itself signifies changes but does nothing to actually enlighten folks on what the changes are. Other than the fact that Joel Bylos was named creative director for all three of Funcom's titles -- Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, and The Secret World -- and that the team will be in one centralized in location, we know little of the details.

How many developers survived the restructuring and relocated to remain on the team? Is this move foreshadowing one or more games slipping into maintenance mode? How will the coveted dev attention be divvied up? What does the future hold? Devoid of facts, players are left left wondering about how these changes will impact their favorite games.

While chatting with Joel Bylos in an exclusive interview, I was able to ask some of these very questions.

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EverQuest, EverQuest II repeal F2P restrictions on class, race, and more

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Anniversaries

Georgeson interview reveals removal of F2P restrictions on class, race, and more in EQ, EQ II
What single action could unite all Norrathians in grand celebration? In the words of Mel Gibson's William Wallace: Freeeeeeeeeedoooooooom.

It's no secret that EverQuest and EverQuest II have had fairly restrictive free-to-play models, with severe limitations that unfortunately deterred some players from trying or sticking with the games. Although teased with a wide variety of races and classes, free (once called bronze) and silver players could choose from among only a few without dipping into their wallets. Other restrictions included limited bag slots, little to no shared bank access, and a very low cap on active quests.

But if those restrictions are what put you off, fire up that launchpad again because I've got good news for you: SOE has taken a giant eraser and wiped them right off of the free-to-play matrices. And now is a good time to get back into the games as the EverQuest franchise is set to commemorate its 14th anniversary with celebrations in both games.

In my interview with Dave Georgeson, the man at the helm of all things EQ, I scouted out the specifics of the F2P restrictions that will lift come the middle of next week. Georgeson also revealed some incoming updates for EQ as well as discussed the special events marking the anniversary that will kick off on March 16th. And you just know I tried to slip in a question or two about EQ Next.

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Massively Interview: Re-launching Prius Online as Arcane Saga

Fantasy, Interviews, Launches, Lore, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Miscellaneous

Arcane Saga Header
Prius Online, a free-to-play, fantasy MMO published by gPotato, launched in North America in 2011. Roughly a year later, the MMO was shut down. Now, another year later, the game's original developer is re-branding, re-visiting and re-launching Prius Online under a new moniker: Arcane Saga.

Curious about how, when, and why a company would choose to re-open a shuttered game, we sat down with Netmarble's Jon-Enée Merriex to ask. Merriex walked us through what it takes to restart a game, why good MMOs sometimes go by the wayside, and how his company plans to iterate and improve on the Prius Online experience that the title's original players enjoyed.

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Massively interviews Genese Davis, author of MMO novel The Holder's Dominion

Real-Life, Culture, Interviews, Massively Meta, Interviews (Massively's), Miscellaneous

Massively Exclusive Interview with author Genese Davis
We all love video games, right? I mean, you wouldn't be here if you didn't, would you? Of course not. But you know what else is pretty great? Books! But who said you needed to choose between the two? Thanks to up-and-coming writers like Genese Davis, you can have the best of both worlds.

Genese is the author of The Holder's Dominion, a novel that follows protagonist Kaylie Ames as she and her friends delve into the mystery of the fictional MMO Edannair, where the enigmatic Holder, leader of an in-game organization known as Sarkmarr, has begun sending his disciples on dangerous real-world missions. It's up to Kaylie and company to figure out who this mysterious Holder really is and foil his (or her) nefarious schemes. And as it so happens, we had the opportunity to take an advance look at The Holder's Dominion and pick Genese's brain on the MMO industry, girls in gaming, and much more. To find out what she had to say (and believe us, you want to), head on past the cut and check out the full interview.

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Chaos Theory Extra: Bylos interview unearths more about TSW's Issue #6

Horror, Real-Life, Interviews, Patches, Free-to-Play, The Secret World, Interviews (Massively's), Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory Extra  Bylos interview unearths moreabout TSW's Issue #6
By now, it's no secret that I am excited for The Secret World's next update with its new story arc and new reward systems. Oh, and whips -- we can't forget the whips. I did, after all, mention it a bit earlier today. So it shouldn't be any surprise that I want to find out as much as I can about The Last Train to Cairo. With that in mind, I caught up with Creative Director Joel Bylos to unearth a few more tidbits about Issue #6 and beyond to pass along to you.

Keep reading for a discussion on the state of the team's relocation, word on when players can expect their first trip to Venice, and a few hints about future auxiliary weapons as well as the inspiration behind this update.

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Massively Exclusive: A closer look at WildStar's Draken

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Lore, Previews, News Items, Races, Interviews (Massively's), WildStar

She doesn't look happy.  Then again, Draken rarely do.
The Draken of WildStar are not inclined to talk about themselves. It's a simple matter of practicality; there's a hunt to be undertaken, and talking doesn't actually help with that. So today's opportunity for fans to meet the Draken doesn't have a whole lot about the bigger picture but does have a lengthy recounting of the individual Draken's major achievements, which include hunting and killing an astonishing number of things.

That's all that there is to them, right? Otherwise we would have heard more.

As it turned out in our interview with lead narrative designer Chad Moore, there's quite a bit more to the Draken as a whole; they're just disinclined to discuss it in any real detail. Thankfully, Moore is more concerned with lore than chasing down something and killing it, so he was able to shed more light on the Draken as a whole when you get past their love of the hunt.

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Exclusive interview with Hailan Rising's Adam Smith

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, PvP, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's)

Exclusive interview with Hailan Rising's Adam Smith
Hailan Rising, an up-and-coming PvP title from Reloaded Productions, is currently in the screaming throes of open beta. It's always a fun time, especially for the development team, which is Producer Adam Smith was up for talking about how the game's coming along in these final weeks.

Reloaded Productions is trying desperately to (what else) "wreck" the server by giving out prizes to the first three players to crash the game. Since destruction and mayhem are Massively's watchwords, we think you should help them out.

Check out our interview with Adam Smith after the jump!

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Massively Exclusive: A closer look at WildStar's Cassians

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Lore, News Items, Races, Interviews (Massively's), WildStar

In love with their own reflections?  Probably.
WildStar doesn't shy away from giving its races plenty of personality. The introduction to the Dominion as a whole is given by character Malvolio Portius, and just a few moments of dialogue makes it very clear what sort of person he is. The latest entry on the original site features a mock-interview with the character that at once sheds more light on the character and provides more handy reference points about how Cassian humans think of themselves.

Of course, there's more going on behind the scenes, and Malvolio's perspective on things is rather one-sided. (Not to mention smarmy.) To get a little more detail on the Cassian humans from a more neutral perspective, we had a chance to ask lead narrative designer Chad Moore a few questions about the Cassians and the Dominion as a whole. You'll have to wait a little while to learn more about the Draken and the Mechari, but the Cassians alone certainly feature elements that Malvolio won't discuss.

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